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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Marc Liebman never ceases to enthrall readers with the way he weaves his gripping military plots and provides historical information about his settings for an additional treat. In The Simushir Island Incident, Admiral Kim Sun Pak and General Chun Lee Jang, both in the service of Supreme North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, are in cahoots operating the production of high-grade heroin that they sell to the United States. Although they are a part of their Dear Leader’s grand plan to destroy America, no one knows what is running in the mind of their Dear Leader. High-ranking North Korean officials are being accused of treason and it is only a matter of time before their own heads roll. Their solution to prevent jeopardizing their operations: Rent Simushir Island from Russia, where they can set up their heroin factory and conceal its true capacity by disguising it as a maritime base for merchant shipping. But as Kim Jong-Il’s mind is unpredictable, he uses the island as a storage facility for chemical and nuclear warheads. More trouble ensues when an American reconnaissance plane is shot down by a missile fired from the island. Enter Operation Glass Carat, where Josh Haman and Marty Cabot take a sneak peek at the island and must find a way to shut down the North Korean operation before it precipitates another world war.
The Simushir Island Incident is a compelling story of power, betrayal, and greed, and how people serving an oppressive regime will do everything at their disposal to get a taste of the good life. From its opening pages, when you are introduced to the major players, you get a sense that they are complex characters that will give Josh Haman a very challenging time. At the same time, when you ponder life in North Korea, you somehow cannot blame Pak's and Jang’s intentions, for they are merely puppets who choose to risk their own necks to get a better life. Tension further mounts as Haman and Cabot step into the scene that entices you to find out if Haman will follow strict orders or find his own way to shut down the North Koreans. Marc Liebman is consistent in writing a fast-paced military action-adventure with realistic dangers. You should be thankful that it is only a work of fiction, but it is irresistible because the tension and crisis that it tackles are not far from happening.